New Coral Gables Pilates studio promotes core strength
The Reformer/Tower Pilates machine — a system of springs, pulleys and straps and a long, padded bench to support the body — looks like Fifty Shades of Ow when you first approach it. But after engaging the attachments, which provide smooth resistance and a measure of control as you pull and stretch your arms and legs in various configurations, you start to feel good after an hour-long class.
Students report feeling energized and even taller afterward since the movements are designed to lengthen the muscles and improve posture. The versatile machine even allows for a round of Hundreds, one of Pilates’ signature moves.
For the Hundreds, which set fire to the abdominals, you are initially flat on the bench, bent knees toward the chest. Instructor Deanndria Seavers will soon command everyone to lift their upper bodies carefully toward the chest and pump both arms in small movements at the sides 100 times.
One can’t do Pilates — mat or Tower/Reformer — and hope to avoid the dreaded Hundreds.
Pilates, for the one or two of you who have yet to try the popular fitness program, is a series of movements centering on the core muscles of the abdominal area. Working these muscles help us maintain balance and provide support for the spine.